Jordan fears refugee exodus if Syrian regime falls

Updated 18 January 2013
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Jordan fears refugee exodus if Syrian regime falls

AMMAN: Jordan’s prime minister says the kingdom will shut its border with Syria in case of violence or a mass exodus of refugees if President Bashar Assad’s regime collapses.
Abdullah Ensour’s remarks to reporters on Thursday reflect concerns of resources-barren Jordan, which is already hosting 285,000 Syrian refugees and has exhausted its meager health care, education, water and energy resources.
Ensour says that rather than taking in another “surge in the number of Syrian refugees when the regime collapses,” Jordan would dispatch special forces to “secure safe havens for the Syrians inside their country.”
Ensour did not speculate on the prospects of the fall of Syria’s strongman but said Jordan has had “no contacts” with Assad’s regime in recent weeks.


Israeli army raids West Bank Palestinian camp after soldier death

Updated 7 min 19 sec ago
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Israeli army raids West Bank Palestinian camp after soldier death

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories: The Israeli army raided a Palestinian refugee camp in the occupied West Bank Monday, AFP journalists said, in an apparent hunt for suspects in the killing of a soldier.
Dozens of Israeli troops entered the Amari Refugee Camp in Ramallah in the early hours of Monday, closing off all the entrances, AFP journalists said.
At least 13 Palestinians were lightly or moderately injured during the raid as clashes broke out, the Palestinian Health Ministry said, with soldiers firing tear gas and bullets.
Residents said a number of Palestinians were arrested, though there was no immediate confirmation or statement from the army.
Israeli forces later withdrew from the camp.
It came days after an Israeli soldier was killed during a raid inside the camp.
Sergeant Ronen Lubarsky, 20, of the Duvdevan special forces unit, was struck on the head by a stone block thrown during an arrest raid Thursday and died early Saturday.
Israeli media said the block was a granite slab dropped from a third-floor window.
Those responsible were not arrested at the time.
Amari is located inside Ramallah, seat of the Palestinian Authority, in an area theoretically under the full control of the Palestinian government.
Israeli forces regularly carry out night raids in Palestinian-governed parts of the West Bank to arrest suspects they accuse of militant activities against Israel.
Amari, home to around 6,000 Palestinians according to the UN, is a regular flashpoint where Israeli raids have sparked fierce clashes in the past.